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Restrepo Gets Derby Success in Freshman Sire Good Magic

A bloodstock agent tries to find horses to fill the various requirements for their clients, all within their niche idea of what embodies a classic runner, and for Ramiro Restrepo, the 149th Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mage  did just that. The son of Good Magic  , a clone of his champion father, stood out to Restrepo and his team during the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale.

The world watched May 6 as the 3-year-old chestnut colt romped home in fighter fashion, picking off his rivals with each stride in the homestretch, edging to a one-length victory in the first leg of the Triple Crown. The win gave his trainer, Venezuela native Gustavo Delgado Sr., his first American Derby victory and his owners a day they will never forget.

Ramiro Restrepo with trophy.
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Ramiro Restrepo celebrates after winning the Kentucky Derby

Nearly a year ago, Restrepo was making his way through the catalog of 636 juveniles at the Timonium Fairgrounds, creating a short list to review with assistant trainer Gustavo Delgado Jr. The duo narrowed it down to two individuals to try for: a Good Magic colt who breezed an eighth in :10 with Becky Thomas’ Sequel Bloodstock and a City of Light   filly who went in :10 1/5 for Pike Racing. Both juveniles were pinhooks for their consignors from the previous year’s yearling sales, selling for $235,000 and $180,000, respectively.

“The Good Magic came into the ring first and was just a split-second decision to go all in on him,” Restrepo recalled. “We went a little over budget to buy him, and that squashed any dreams of buying both of them, even going for another one.”

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Mage was hammered down at $290,000 to Marquee Bloodstock, agent for OGMA Investments, while the City of Light filly, now named Mimi Kakushi , sold to Woodrow Call for $250,000. Friday, the Godolphin-owned filly ran eighth in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) for trainer Salem bin Ghadayer.

“What’s funny is she debuted before he did; she broke her maiden and won the One Thousand Guineas and then the U.A.E. Oaks (G3) in Dubai. I would jokingly send the video to Junior and be like, ‘Did we buy the wrong one'” Restrepo explained. “It was cool that she qualified for the Kentucky Oaks.”

Finding a different angle or advantage as a bloodstock agent can make or break your program, and for Restrepo going after freshman sires has become his bread and butter—but like most, leaning on your gut instincts is an underlying truth that makes you raise your hand in the sales pavilion until you’re victorious and get to sign the sales slip. 

“When I am doing my shortlists, there are certain horses that are beautiful but are probably out of my price range. It’s a challenging market to go after; we focus on these (first-year) kinds of stallions. Good Magic was super brilliant and was very precocious and is by Curlin, who has become one of the most influential stallions of the breed,” said Restrepo. “You know, with the standup job Hill ‘n’ Dale does, Good Magic would get a great shot at the start with a great book of first-year mares. He won the Haskell. He was so valiant to Justify in both legs of the Triple Crown. He won the Breeders’ Cup at 2; he was a special horse.”

“Stonestreet (breeder and co-owner of Good Magic) is another amazing program in the lineage. Jerry Crawford from Donegal is an awesome buddy; he owned Puca (the dam). I saw Puca break her maiden by 16 lengths, place in the Gazelle (G2) and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1)—with a little more luck, she could have hit the board or even won that race, and who knows if I would be here today if she did that, she had class. From a pedigree perspective, all the bases were covered. Mage’s breeze at the under tack show was phenomenal.”

Mage ended up being the highest-priced Good Magic offering of the 13 at the May sale, nine of which were colts, with four fillies. 

Ahead of the Kentucky Derby, consignor Becky Thomas who sold Mage with her partners Lewis Lakin and Joey Platt, said: “We loved him; we are big Good Magic fans. He was always on auto-pilot, a speedy, smart horse; we couldn’t be more delighted with him. You always want your pinhooking horses to do well, even when financially it’s not the biggest win.”

The ROI on the son of Good Magic maybe wasn’t as monumental as some of Thomas’ other pinhooks; she noted he might have come at a discount as the colt had a parrot mouth.

Mage walking shedrow morning after his Kentucky Derby (G1) win.
Photo: Anika Miskar/BloodHorse

Mage at Churchill Downs

“As a kid, cartoons didn’t exist for me; it was horse races, almanacs, racing manuals, BloodHorse, and Thoroughbred Times. These publications as a kid, with the colors of the silks and the colors of the horses stuck in my mind,” said Restrepo. “Dancing Brave had a parrot mouth, and it stuck in my mind as a kid, so it didn’t bother me with Mage.

“I have this image in my mind from when we were at the sale watching Mage walk, and Junior was standing in front of him at his head with his fingers under his mouth, inspecting his mouth, and he was cool with it. We loved his physique, and his temperament at the sale was all class. We noticed his presence; he was puffed up like a peacock, as he was being shown. His breeze was exceptional, and he was like a clone of his dad.”

This year Restrepo will be back at the Midlantic Sale, May 22-23, in search of his next classic horse. The under tack show will take place May 16-18 on the dirt track at the Timonium Fairgrounds.

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